A status of “expunged” means that the law or court deems the record as complete and nullified, prior offenses are not counted. Acquiring an expungement helps people with an arrest record keep that information private.
A legal process used in correcting records can be life-changing for someone with a past conviction or arrest record. Someone with an expunged record can live freely, and worry less that a past legal hardship will follow them.
What Is An Expungement?
An expungement is a process whereby a criminal conviction is suspended or erased from court records. The reason for the expungement is dropped from a person’s court record. So, the defendant isn’t legally obligated to disclose the other legal trouble to future employers, landlords, etc. In limited situations, anyone might be expected to disclose an expungement if they’re under oath. The only people who shouldn’t disclose their expungement are those who have an unscathed record.
Are Expunged Records Deleted Forever?
An arrest or conviction that has been expunged from a person’s criminal record normally can still be seen in official records, such as the FBI’s national criminal database often called the “NCIC.” This is sometimes called a criminal record being “under seal.” When a person’s past record is erased, the law may consider it. If there is a criminal conviction or any other indictment against a person, a court may consider the erased record. If a defendant is facing deportation for a crime committed after the expungement or “under seal,” then the erased record is taken into account.
Whether a criminal record can be cleanly erased may depend on factors including the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred and the time passed since the arrest or conviction or pretrial diversion.
In some countries, it has little effect to clear a criminal record. In others, the law recognizes the removal or expungement of a criminal record. Clearing criminal records depend largely upon where the alleged offense occurred. Some states do not allow for expungement of adult criminal convictions but may allow certain conviction records to be sealed.
Juvenile records remain in many places after a certain time, usually about seven years. Before seven years can lapse, juvenile records must be sealed, or if easy access to records is allowed, they can be expunged. However, the statute might be different in certain correctional facilities. Restrictions or limits on the length of time after which a juvenile record can be entered into a government computer aren’t known to law enforcers. If the felony of conviction is only a crime of moral turpitude
If someone applies for an expungement, their criminal record expungement or pardon application could depend upon whether they were convicted of a crime or only arrested. And, this guideline can vary based on the jurisdiction. Some State expungement laws are highly variable. The “newness” of your conviction should lead you to contact an experienced attorney who can advise you fully about the governing rules, with special emphasis on local rules in your State lest you get unexpectedly turned down.
Alex Adekola is a thought leader in the reputation management industry who has targeted mugshot publishers since 2012. Alex Adekola is the longest-serving reputation management director online and has written a book on mugshot removal. He is the creator and director of strategy at RemoveMyMugshot.org and MyClearSearch.com.